Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-14) +15.5, o/u 162 @ Duke Blue Devils (23-3), -15.5, o/u 162 Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC, Wednesday, 9 p.m. Eastern
by Oracle of Predictem.com
It’s not any recent news that the 6th ranked Duke Blue Devils haven’t been playing their best basketball as of late, losing two straight games to unranked opponents before beating up on a horrendous St. John’s team on Saturday.
It seems as though everyone under the sun has jumped off Coach K’s run-and-shoot bandwagon. Many Duke haters were waiting for this kind of meltdown eventually.
However, Duke is 23-3 overall for a reason. People outside of Durham may forget that the Blue Devils RPI is ranked 5th in the nation and they have the 9th toughest schedule. On top of that, they’re 10-2 in a fairly balanced ACC and possess the third highest scoring offense in college basketball (85.5 points per game). A No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament isn’t out of the equation since there is so much basketball yet to be played.
Nevertheless, if they want any shot at one of those No. 1 seeds, they’ll have to beat up on teams like their next opponent, Georgia Tech.
With the exception of an early season win against an unranked Notre Dame team, Georgia Tech hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent all season long. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a total shock to bettors that Duke opened as a 15.5-point favorite, according to some Vegas Sportsbooks. The quality of these two offenses has put the over/under at a high mark of 162 as well.
After beating a Wake Forest team that upset North Carolina just a few days beforehand, the Yellow Jackets have lost four straight games. Many bettors could be fooled by Georgia Tech’s record, but they’ve hung around in games they weren’t supposed to, including an 83-82 loss against North Carolina last month and a 71-66 loss against Kansas earlier in the season. In fact, they’re average loss is by just 6.8 points rather remarkable considering they’ve been beaten 14 times.
Bettors will factor in quite heavily, you would imagine the game being held at the historic Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke is a perfect 14-0 on the year.
Although the line may be on the higher side, Duke is 9-2-2 against the spread at home and the over is 7-6.
Since getting the idea from his summer gig coaching the Olympic team, Coach K has switched his offense to pertain more toward his team’s strength, which is athleticism. His Phoenix Suns-esque offense has been a hit, jacking up 629 three-pointers on the year and hitting them at a 39% clip. Overall, they’re shooting just under 50% from the field. Kyle Singler is probably one of the most underappreciated freshmen in the country. He gives opponents match up problems with his size (6-8 forward), as he can post up or shoot the three (38.3%). At 14.4 points per game, Singler is just one of five Blue Devils in double digits.
Although a somewhat subtle addition, 7’1″ center Brian Zoubek has gotten more and more playing time since a return from an achilles injury. His presence has been felt, in particular on the defensive side of the ball, with Duke averaging 5.2 blocks in its past five overall games. Zoubek also recorded his first double-double of the year (11 points, 13 rebounds) against the drubbing of St. John’s on Saturday.
Georgia Tech seems to be undermanned and outmatched in this contest, having just one player, Anthony Morrow at 14.3 points per game, averaging in double figures. As a team, Duke has the upper hand in most major offensive and defensive categories against the Yellow Jackets except for free throw shooting.
There are only a few trends that bettors will really look at for this game. First off, in the last six head-to-head meetings against these two teams, the under is 6-0. Secondly, the home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four match ups.
Bettors may want to stay away from this one. With a huge spread and an even bigger o/u, it could go either way. Georgia Tech isn’t a very good team, but are they really that bad where they can’t cover?
Oracle’s Pick: Georgia Tech doesn’t have the offensive firepower to stay with Duke. That being said, the Yellow Jackets haven’t lost by more than 15 points all year long. Take Tech plus the 15.5.